After months of small balance changes, Riot are planning on going big in Valorant. They want to roll out “more aggressive” updates in 2021, like the Yoru & Viper buffs in patch 2.06, to bring more impactful changes to the game.
The studio admitted it wasn’t happy with it’s “small, targeted changes to Agents” thus far, and are going to retool their approach to balance updates. The new direction will make every patch have a “larger impact” to Valorant.
Viper specifically has had a number of changes done, but they haven’t really helped her out.
To remedy that, Riot is doing away with its bets on incremental changes and will instead opt to introduce much bigger nerfs, buffs, and everything in between so players feel the changes.
“Our previous method was to make small, targeted changes to Agents in hopes that we’d see incremental impact. Ultimately this approach has not panned out like we hoped,” developer John Goscicki admitted.
In patch 2.06, Riot overhauled Viper’s kit to make her poison carry a bigger decay on people’s health, a more proactive smoke grenade than before, and a lot more.
These balance changes are the kind of big package updates that we’ll be seeing more of in Valorant.
“Starting with 2.06, we’re taking a more aggressive approach with our updates, so that we see a larger impact to Agents with each one,” Goscicki said.
“This is because we know seeing your Agent in the patch notes over and over can be frustrating, especially when they do not move the needle.”
Esports impact on Valorant updates
As ambitious as these changes will be in Valorant, Riot don’t want to conflict with their major esports event, the Valorant Champions Tour.
“Throughout 2021, you should see this pattern: Once a large tourney concludes, we’ll release some larger impact buffs [and] nerfs, and as the next large one approaches, slow down,” he explained.
It’s going to be a system akin to League of Legends, in which game-wide system changes or major meta adaptations happen early in the season so Worlds isn’t as affected.